Sewing with less stress Front

Sewing with less stress Front
My newest sewing book

Sewing with less stress back cover

Sewing with less stress back cover
What my new book is about

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Clothesmaking mavens
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About me

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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bright spots dark spots

First the bright spot.

I did my Burdastyle seminar on Thursday.

I just had a blast. There is nothing like a captive audience of folks to listen to your opinions about interfacing and pressing to give a girl a good time.

Really I just loved it and am looking forward to one on knits next month and sleeves in November. I have so much I want to say about sewing and this is another way to have that conversation.

I am thrilled.

O.K. on to the dark spot.

Today the husband and I were in a golf tournament where if there had been a prize for the worst drives our foursome would have won, at least my end of the foursome.

Afterwards there was a lunch and because it a husband's work thing there were draws and prizes throughout the meal and since they are all in the engineering field the grab bags contained knives, flashlights, and golf balls with the big door prize a set of cordless drills. They kind of threw the prizes around and said "OK if you are finished eating see you next year." Let's say it was not exactly run like a shower if you get my drift. I thought it was hilarious and the man holding tightly onto his ticket to see if he won the drills didn't see what so funny.

But it was. If you were me it was.

Back to the dark spot.


Every foursome had their pictures taken. I looked at ours there I was black shoes, jacket, and pants. I looked like someone who was there to park your car.

It was at that moment that my style came to its final screeching halt.

For my whole working life I have been a black basic sort of girl. 

It's logical.

It's economical.

There is always something to go with something and there is always a black version of whatever you want to buy.

It made packing for business trips a breeze and accessorizing a snap.

It made it easy to go to New York.

I knew what to wear to a black tie and to an office party and a funeral and a speech.

According the lady who did my "colours" in my mom's living room in 1978, black is my colour and I have been working around it ever since.

The problem is.

I look like someone you would give the keys to.

I look dull and lifeless.

I look like I am wearing a uniform for a company at which I am not the CEO.

I look like someone else and not like me.

So the black has to go and leave me behind.

But how exactly am I going to do that?

What about the twenty pairs of black shoes?

The black leather bags?

The boots?

47 yards of black you know what?

The question is:

For me what is the new black?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Flypaper thoughts

  • Lots of sewing but none to show.
  • Working on my Burdastyle webinar for this Thursday
  • Just making the pieces I need for pictures.
  • Will get back to the rest of the garments later.
  • Two jackets and a suitish thing.
  • Shape appears to be going out of style.
  • Same thing happening here.
  • I have a student who paints little landscapes on fake nails then glues them on.
  • Pretty impressive.
  • Next thing is the assignments.
  • My favourite foods may be crabapple jelly and rhubarb pie.
  • This realization is part of why I am going to start phasing out black from my wardrobe.
  • Maybe if I don't look so serious they won't expect it.
  • Maybe they will know who they are really dealing with.
  • About time.
  • I can feel the serious reservoir getting pretty low.
  • May not refill it.
  • Why do children start to whine only when their mother comes to pick them up?
  • Why do dogs get up to pee 5 times in the night only when my husband is away?
  • Why do facing pieces always go missing?
  • Why do they come back only when you make new ones?
  • Who is around to answer these questions?
  • The hard part of getting this webinar ready is knowing what to leave out.
  • I am going to be haunted by the "I should have saids"
  • Fall people start "activities."
  • I think someone should start a book club where the rules are only funny books.
  • The last one I tried exposed me to the fact that only books of suffering get prizes.
  • Three months of all members saying they really didn't like the book.
  • Too bad, the food was pretty good.
  • How about a funny book club where you can come in your slippers and at break you eat rhubarb pie.
  • And you can ask people how they get their eyeliner on so straight and they show you.
  • After the pie.
  • Do you think in the webinar I should say cut twice the number of facings?
  • Will someone other than me let the dog out?
  • Back to the sewing room.
  • Call me when it's dinner.